' The Ragman's Serenade tells the story of four families- one from North Shields and the other three from Wallsend. It is a story of relationships- The Davis family are up to their eyes in debt - The Stewart family have a daughter who has downs syndrome– The hagarths who’s husband owns a bookmakers shop and his wife is a midwife at the RVI- and the Higginbottom's have a father with the on set of Alzheimer's. How do they cope - read this fascinating story i'm sure you will enjoy.


107. 107

“Well it not that big a town but its busy; no sheep or cattle driving through, but lots of shops and pubs. Tom went on to tell them all he knew about the streets and the fishing boats.

“Why did you want to move from there?’

Well there isn’t a lot of work and we don’t get the weather like here. It rains a lot.’

“Wait until it rains here said Livy.’

“Mick says you get floods here is that right.’

“Not here so much but in Wagga Wagga they have floods.’ It still rains but the land soaks it up before it reaches us. It can get pretty muddy so I hope you’ve all got waterproof boots and cagoules to wear.’

“Dad said that he was going to take us into town to get some wellies to wear once his driver’s licence comes through.’

 “My dad said Frankie had a car and a truck so he will be alright.’

“Did Frankie have a motorbike?’

Yes, he did they will all be in that shed over there.’

“Is that not a barn?’

“No it was Frankie’s workshop. There’s loads of tools and spare parts in there;

The Trucks arrived and they all got up to help unload the supply of beer and fish.

Billy Ballie and his wife Tula were aborigines from the Thaynakwith tribe. Billy was a great hunter and could track and kill most wildlife around the area. The good thing about aborigines was they only killed what they needed. They didn’t hunt just for the sake of it. Matty and his family were introduced to everyone who had brought their wives along and the Barbecue was now ready to start lots of different kinds of meat and fish were placed onto the grills at different heights to cook them.

Mick took charge of the food on the Barbie as the women helped set the table in the kitchen, salad and rice were placed into serving bowls and there was a pile of bread buns to butter. Mick and Georgie used paper plates and plastic knives forks and spoons. Georgie said it saved on breakages. More beer was passed around and the cooler was filled up with even more. The women drank wine from plastic cups.

The music was turned up and everyone began to dance.

One thing that Matty was learning about the Aussies that was that they love to enjoy themselves and were very family orientated.

The Barbecue lasted way into the early hours and when Matty looked at his watch it was almost quarter to three in the morning.’

“I think we should be heading back Mick; thank you and your friends for a wonderful evening.’ I’m sure that we will return the compliment.’

“As I said Matt this is how we live out here.’

Matt and his family said good night to everyone and made their way back across to the house.

“Wow they certainly know how to throw a party.’

Apparently these Barbie’s are a regular event here.’

“I cannot wait for the next one then said Tom.’



The crowd of a packed house swayed with their arms in the air as Rod Stewart sang “This old heart of mine” He was wearing a multi- coloured jacket and tight matching coloured silk flared trousers, red platform soled boots. His distinctive shoulder length hair style with a fringe was soaked with sweat. He was wearing make- up as the girls in the audience screamed. Margaret and Iris worked their way to the front of the stage. The concert had been well worth the money as they had got to see their pop idol. 

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